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Program Accomplishments and Future Directions

Source: Excerpt from the 1994 Toxics Release Inventory
Public Data Release, Introduction

EPA faced considerable challenges to the TRI program in 1995. Budget uncertainties and two separate Federal government shutdowns resulted in significant delays for many program efforts. The TRI program faced more specific challenges in 1995 in the form of proposed legislation and multiple lawsuits which, if successful, would have resulted in the deletion of a significant number of EPCRA section 313 chemicals. Four separate industry lawsuits were filed in 1995 challenging various portions of the 1994 rule which added 286 chemicals and chemical categories to the EPCRA section 313 toxic chemical list. On April 30, 1996, the four lawsuits were defeated on all counts.

On August 8, 1995, President Clinton, Vice President Gore, and Administrator Browner traveled to Baltimore to announce the signing of Executive Order 12969 on Federal Acquisition and Community Right-to-Know. This Executive Order requires Federal contractors whose facilities are currently covered under EPCRA section 313 to continue to file TRI reporting forms for the life of their contracts. The President also signed a directive to the Administrator to expedite two major initiatives: consideration of the rulemaking for adding to the list of currently covered facilities, and development and implementation of an expedited, open, and transparent process for considering reporting of chemical use information.

Both of these efforts have been high priorities for EPA, and the President's emphasis heightened efforts to move these two projects forward. Throughout 1995, EPA continued its industry expansion effort by refining its analysis of new industries under consideration for addition to the reporting requirements. EPA also continued to conduct a dialogue with interested parties, including a public meeting in May, and numerous meetings with industry representatives and environmental, community, and labor organizations. EPA is focused on operations within mining, oil and gas exploration and production, electric utilities, waste management, bulk terminals, solvent recovery, and other industries which manufacture, process, or otherwise use TRI chemicals. EPA remains committed to this dialogue, and is moving forward with a proposed rulemaking in 1996.

Phase III Expansion, the effort where EPA is considering adding chemical use information to TRI, does not yet have a schedule for developing a proposed rulemaking. A report to the President was submitted in early October laying out issues involved in this effort, and two public meetings have been held (one in 1994) to solicit views from industry and other members of the public. EPA is currently examining the comments received on a second issues paper, and will be looking further at the experience of state programs which collect chemical use information. Continued dialogue with industry and other interested parties is anticipated in 1996, as EPA weighs the value and benefits of this type of data for TRI.

EPA also continued to look for ways to further reduce TRI's burden on industry. An evaluation of each of the original chemicals on the TRI list against the statutory listing criteria will be completed in 1996. This analysis will potentially result in the removal of chemicals from the section 313 list which do not meet the listing criteria. EPA also deleted or modified three chemicals and chemical categories on the section 313 list in 1995, and more petition actions are likely in 1996.

EPA anticipates developing regulatory definitions and guidance to implement the Pollution Prevention Act of 1990. The regulated community has reported on waste quantities managed since 1991. EPA will now provide definitions and a standard method for performing the waste calculations necessary for completing the Form R. This effort will greatly improve the utility of the currently collected data.

Source: USEPA 1994 Toxics Release Inventory Public Data Release (EPA 745-R-96-002, June 1996).

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